Articles in regional publications that pertain to a wide range of North Carolina-related topics.
for Padgett, James R
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Whitehouse Mountain is located along the Jackson and Macon county border. It's highest point is known at the â€œDevil's Courthouse.â€ Along the path up to the courthouse is a rock chiseled with a Spanish inscription. No one knows who carved this. One theory is that one of DeSoto's men carved the phrase when they traveled through the Highlands area in 1540. Appalachian historian T. W. Reynolds argued that a local citizen, Herman Wiles Alley, carved the inscription around 1925. This theory has been questioned by others who remember seeing the carving before Alley's birth. The mystery remains unsolved.
Just outside Highlands, in Horse Cove, stands a 145-foot yellow poplar tree that dwarfs all other surrounding trees, including several red oak trees. Scientifically known as LIRIODENDRON TULIPIFERA, the Horse Cove Poplar is commonly called the tulip poplar. The Wasilik Poplar, another yellow poplar located in North Carolina, was the national champion in the American Forestry Association's registry of big poplar trees until a larger tree was discovered in Bedford County, Virginia.
Three weeds commonly found on the roadsides of North Carolina played an important role in the family routines of the 1800s. Boneset, White snakeroot, and Queen of the Meadow would have all been well known to mountain women for their individual properties. Boneset was used to make Boneset tea, a reputed purge for summer germs and fevers, and White snakeroot was known to be poisonous, most often inducing 'milk sickness' in persons who drank milk from cows that had ingested the weed. Queen of the Meadow was used as a late summer decorative flower that signified the passing of the seasons.